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October 9, 2010 / forgotthosegems

Bananarama, Cruel Summer











For my year 12 group drama performance there were three of us and we desperately wanted to create a piece where we were Bananarama! We had visions of smoke machines and crimped hair… it was going to be amazing! Unfortunately we took a different direction with our piece but I had the pleasure of some serious Bananarama appreciation. Missing your overalls all of a sudden?!

Song: Cruel Summer
Artist: Bananarama
From Album: Self-Titled
Year Released: 1983
Notes: Cruel Summer was not an immediate international success when it was released. Although it hit #8 on the UK Chart, its international popularity soared after its inclusion in the 1984 feature film The Karate Kid; this was a year after the song’s original release.

The song has since been revived in various forms. It appeared in several television commercials, was included on the soundtrack to the movie Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, and was covered by other acts, such as Ace of Base, who scored an international hit with it (their version even reached gold in the US), and Blestenation on the Blue Crush soundtrack.




October 8, 2010 / forgotthosegems

Freaks & Geeks (1999)

Yesterday a friend introduced me to the show ‘Freaks & Geeks’ – somehow I managed to miraculously skip this show in my childhood! Although sad I missed it I’m excited that I get to enjoy it now! What a great combination of 80s music & culture along with a great cast (e.g. The lovely James Franco!). I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to kick off the ‘television’ category of this blog!

Show: Freaks & Geeks
Year: 1999
Some of the Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jason Segal & Busy Phillips.
About: The show’s starting point is Lindsay’s transition from her life as an academically proficient student, star mathlete, and proper young girl, with Millie as her like-minded best friend, to an Army-jacket-wearing teenager who hangs out with troubled slackers. Her relationships with her new friends, and the friction they cause with her parents and with her own self-image, form one central strand of the show; the other follows Sam and his group of geeky friends as they navigate a very different part of the social universe trying to fit in.

October 8, 2010 / forgotthosegems

Friends Of Distinction, Going In Circles









I know it’s Friday, and Friday deserves something upbeat – but I think I might save that for the afternoon and kick today off with a bit of 60’s soul. Friends of Distinction got their start as one of Ray Charles backing bands (not a bad way to start right?!) and then went on to kick out a few charting singles of their own, including this little gem, Going In Circles. This one is best listened to through head phones, nice and loud.

Song: Going In Circles
Artist: Friends Of Distinction
From Album: Grazin’
Year Released: 1969
Notes: Reached #15 on the U.S. Pop chart, and #3 on the R&B chart.


October 7, 2010 / forgotthosegems

Elton John, Rocket Man

We’ve been having a bit of an Elton John appreciation afternoon at work and like Phil Collins he’s certainly not forgotten… but man he has written a great deal of gems! He’s got a lot of favourites that I’m sure we’ve all sung along to at old karaoke parties (Tiny Dancer, Bennie & The Jets, Candle in the Wind, Crocodile Rock and not to mention his writing for The Lion King!!). I chose to post Rocket Man, also a great Elton track – but perhaps not the first one to come to mind?

Song: Rocket Man
Artist: Elton John
From Album: Honky Château
Year Released: 1972
Notes: The song echoes the theme of David Bowie‘s 1969 song “Space Oddity

October 6, 2010 / forgotthosegems

Dire Straits, Romeo And Juliet

I watched one of my favourite 90s teen movies last night ‘Can’t Hardly Wait‘ and was reminded of how awesome the soundtrack is! One of the tracks used is ‘Romeo And Juliet’ by the Dire Straits (which is also used in another of my favourites, Empire Records!) and I’m thankful for the reminder.

Song: Romeo and Juliet
Artist: Dire Straits
From Album: Making Movies
Year Released: 1980
Notes: In addition to the reference to William Shakespeare’s play of the same title, the song makes playful allusion to other works involving young love, including the songs “Somewhere” – from West Side Story, which is itself based on the Shakespeare play – and “My Boyfriend’s Back“.

October 6, 2010 / forgotthosegems

Bob Dylan, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright

Dylan is certainly not forgotten (which is good!) but he provides a great deal of gems! I love Bob Dylan songs because they tell a story and my absolute favourite is ‘Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright’. This song has found itself on many a mixtape I’ve made in the past and it always goes down well with the receiver – it’s just generally a feel good song, what’s not to love? The fact that it’s been covered by so many greats is proof that it’s an absolute gem.

Bob Dylan – Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright by wirralite

Song: Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright
Artist: Bob Dylan
From Album: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
Year Released: 1962 (single release)
Has been covered by: Peter, Paul & Mary, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, The Waifs, Elliott Smith, Billy Bragg, Nick Drake, Sandi Thorn, Bryan Ferry, Social Distortion, Donavon Frankenreiter, The Seekers, John Mayer…. And the list could go on!!

October 5, 2010 / forgotthosegems

I Fought The Law, Sonny Curtis & The Crickets

Today I heard the new song from Canadian pop/rock group ‘Metric’ called ‘Monster Hospital’ and it reminded me of the wonderful song ‘I Fought the Law’ by Sonny Curtis. I’ve always been a fan of The Clash, so I admit that I know the song because of their cover – but I did a little digging and it turns out it’s been covered quite a lot! Today I’ve posted the clips of both the Bobby Fuller version and The Clash version, both of which made the song the gem it is today!

Song: I Fought the Law
Artist: Bobby Fuller (1965) & The Clash (1979)
Originally Written & Recorded by: Sonny Curtis & The Crickets
Notes: The Bobby Fuller Four version of this song is ranked #175 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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